We are thankful for our co-op's lineworkers and the long hours they dedicate to ensuring affordable and reliable power is available around the clock. With this demanding work, safety is always the first priority because in some cases, there are no second chances to get the job done right.
Now we have another important tool to keep our utility workers safe: Texas' "move over/slow down" law. When you see a utility vehicle parked on the side of the road with its amber (or amber and blue) lights flashing, help us keep our lineworkers safe by moving over a lane, if you safely can, or slowing down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit.
When you move over, you're giving workers the room they need to safely complete their jobs for you and other members.
We've all been careful to keep an eye out for police, firefighters and other first responders who are on the scene of an accident. Now, with the new law in place, drivers should treat utility workers just as they do all other first responders. After all, they are among those who move toward trouble, not away from it, to keep all of us safer.
The last thing they need to be worrying about when they are taking care of our business is a careless motorist. Common sense tells us to just move over. Now, as of September 1, the power of the law stands behind this important rule.
If you are driving on a two-lane road and you do not have an extra lane to move into, the law says you should slow down by 20 mph. A slower-moving vehicle is a safer vehicle. And keep in mind - significant fines give this law teeth.
After all, there is no price that can recoup a lost life. There's no need to ask questions or wonder what they're up to. Just move over.